Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat attended on Saturday a Bloomberg New Economy special meeting in Beijing called for by the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The meeting was attended by a number of international political and economic figures, including former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, David Rubinstein, President of the International Financial Group Carlyle, and Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, as well as leaders from the ruling Chinese Communist Party and China’s Trade Commissioner.
The meeting came on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy forum, which was held in the Chinese capital from 20-22 November.
Minister Al-Mashat spoke at the session entitled 'Cities: Forging a New World Order' on the importance of governments adopting the use of ICTs to build "smart" and more sustainable cities for their citizens.
Al-Mashat highlighted the importance of digital solutions and encouraging innovation within the framework of the states’ general policies to promote all sectors due to their significant impact on enhanced management and sustainability.
The Egyptian minister noted that 50 percent of the world’s population is currently living in cities, while this percentage is expected to reach 68 by 2050 according to global indicators.
The minister explained that the high rates of urbanisation or orientation to life in cities will have an impact on the infrastructure, systems and resources in these cities and also create important challenges in terms of the use of natural resources and environmental changes, as well as social and cultural impact in cities.
She also spoke on the importance of governments taking a proactive approach to technological growth through the activation of policies on digital transformation, which contribute to better decision making.
On the Egyptian tourism sector, the minister affirmed it has been working in accordance with a scientific plan involving a decision-making process that relies on proactive policies and procedures to make it more robust.
The minister stressed the importance of keeping pace with trends in the tourism industry, which is a cornerstone of the structural reform programme launched in 2018 by the tourism ministry for the development of the sector.
Al-Mashat highlighted the ministry’s vision to achieve sustainable tourism development in line with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
She pointed out that the 11th of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aims to achieve comprehensive, safe, flexible and sustainable cities and communities, and that 70 percent of these 17 goals can be achieved within this framework, pointing out that the Ministry of Tourism adopts the application of these goals within the Egyptian tourism sector’s plan.
During the meeting, the minister affirmed the continuous cooperation and coordination between the government and the private sector to promote and develop the Egyptian tourism sector.
The minister added that the axis of promotion and revitalisation of the structural reform programme is based on several aspects, including the promotion of each city, province or tourist attraction separately by Branding By Destination techniques, to highlight the diversity enjoyed by the Egyptian people, and to introduce different tourist attractions’ characteristics, which will contribute to the development of people living in these touristic attractions.